After the War on Drugs

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has done some really outstanding work in drug policy reform, and their films are extremely well done.

They took the opportunity at the recent Drug Policy Reform Conference with Transform releasing After the war on drugs; Blueprint for Regulation, to ask drug policy reformers their views on some post-drug war options.

Nicely done. You may not agree with each individual’s ideas, but the dialogue is outstanding.

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38 Responses to After the War on Drugs

  1. Paul says:

    I found the lefty love of regulation and contempt for business somewhat chilling, but I’ll take these regulation ideas over prohibition any day.

    I don’t see anything wrong with branding MJ and selling it like alcohol.

    I think the heroin regulations they are talking about would be too strong and likely to fail to reduce harm as much as possible.

    I also took offense on their psychedelic rules, with licensed minders watching you for the duration of the trip. To me, psychedelics and MJ are the only drugs worth doing, and I would not want to do them in some shrink’s office, or with a nanny appointed to watch me.

  2. a human person says:

    I, myself, do find something wrong with regulating mj like alcohol. First of all, the prohibitionist concern of promotion has some validity.
    After all, the power of “corporate personhood” is undeniable. And, although I certainly believe our current (national policy of extreme prohibition) is misguided at best, I don’t necessarily advocate potleaf billboards any more than Miller stadium.
    Perhaps, a medical or spiritual framework would help minimize to some degree the negitive effects of rebellious abuse and totally unsupervised self-medication.

    All of us are engaged a self-realization process everyday, called learning.

  3. Paul says:

    I can’t say that I think I’m “self-medicating” when I smoke MJ–I am getting stoned and enjoying myself. Same with beer. The only medical condition I’m fixing when I drink beer is sobriety. It is nice to drink a few beers with friends and relax.

    I’m just fine with Miller’s advertising. Now, Miller isn’t my favorite beer, mind you, but it isn’t bad. Take Sam Adams, though. I like Sam Adams, I kind of think their advertising is cute, and sometimes it is informative. They remind me they are selling a seasonal beer, like Octoberfest, or whatever fits the times.

    Why shouldn’t Sam Adams shout to the world how great their beer is? Why shouldn’t Philip Morris (sorry, “Altria” now) shout to the world how awesome their Acapulco Gold MJ is, about how stoned it will get you, and why it is better than that cheap Mexican crud you’ve been smoking?

    So I DO advocate potleaf billboards and ganjaweed TV spots. Bring it on! You are not a robot. If you don’t want the product, don’t buy it.

    If you think you have enough self control not to zip on down to the liquor store every time a Miller commercial comes on, why do you think other people don’t?

    Have a little faith in freedom!

  4. claygooding says:

    I think that they should just follow the suggestion by the 1972 study done on marijuana and the federal government should just stay out of the picture on marijuana.
    While I have enjoyed shrooms and peyote,whether I ever do them again is doubtful,because to me they re not an in public drug. I wouldn’t want to have to put up with some tripping ahole waving his fingers in my face,asking if I see the colors coming off his fingers or watch anyone barfing on the sidewalk and grinning about it. To me,while the really strong psych’s should be experienced by anyone that wants to try them,no one should do them alone,especially the first time. They should be done with an experienced person to help the user understand that the sensations and “tripping” will end,but see no need for a trained professional having to waste their time with it.
    As far as the advertising goes,I just hope they use sexy models,for both sexes,and stay away from cartoon characters that might influence youngsters.
    Otherwise,let her rip,hang on to the saddle horn and keep your feet in the stirrups and let that pony buck!

    “Marijuana is addictive to people the same way sex is,anything that good needs repeating!”

  5. claygooding says:

    PS:I believe the peyote scene in “Young Gun’s” is a really good depiction of a “peyote” trip,so you can understand why I say it is a non-public drug.

  6. kaptinemo says:

    “Have a little faith in freedom!”

    And that is precisely what prohibs lack. More correctly, faith in the average person’s ability to regulate their own behavior. Scratch any prohib, and underneath the paint you find a quasi- or outright fascist. It’s just a matter of degree.

    The proof of that is the autocratic disdain prohibs have for reformer’s invitations to debate them. Seeing themselves as somehow better than those whose behavior they seek to control (and thus feel justified in their attitude) they have, a priori demonstrated anti-democratic tendencies. Why should they debate the reformer ‘rabble’? So long as the taxpayer is willing to pay the rent on the ivory tower, the prohibs will seek to reside in it, and don’t feel any special need to visit the trenches.

    That, of course is dependent on having a relatively robust economy to afford the wholly unnecessary (from a viewpoint of national survival) and financially draining drug prohibition bureaucracy. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that the local and State levels of that bureaucracy can no longer be sustained.

    The realization that it cannot be sustained much longer at the Federal level will take a little longer, but said revelation is approaching soon. Symptoms of that realization are things like Senator Webb’s Commission, which the prohibs immediately recognized as a threat to their already-endangered financial well-being, and sought to strangle in the cradle before it could have a chance to get its’ legs under it. That they failed miserably (“Take that, Grassley!”) and worse for them, failed so publicly, goes to show that the writing is indeed on the wall for the prohibs.

    Like as not, the Nervous Nelly prohibs are going to have to quit trying to strangle grown people with apron strings and just leave off. And as one favorite writer of mine put it long ago, “Freedom is being able to tell some nosy busybody to mind their own business…and they do.” Which would be Purgatory if not Hell for prohibs to endure…

  7. steve says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I would not want a psychotherapist babysitting me while I am on mushrooms. In fact, I think most anyone who have tried a hallucinogen know that other people who aren’t tripping can have seriously negative effects on the people who are.

  8. drug users need to treat different substances differently — but the laws must be “equal” in nature for any control regime to function effectively.

    every attempt to nanny drug users (from idiotic licensing schemes to even more idiotic requirements for baby-sitters) will only ensure the continued success of a drugs black market — as well as creating new entrepreneurial opportunities for those specializing in counterfeit documents.

  9. ezrydn says:

    Of all the trips I took back in the 60s and 70s, I always had a sober “guide” that I trusted with me. Someone who understood and could “talk me back.” Someone who had “been there.” And I’ve been “guide” for others. I think having some “professional” would totally kill the sensations. It’d be the same as the “can you hear me now?” commercials. LOL

  10. Jesse says:

    as far as having a sober sitter goes…

    sober? YES.

    Psychedelic virgin? NO!

    It’s best to have some one whos been to the edge and back with the stuff. they will better understand you train of thought and what is causing your discomfort…

    however unless they’re really low dosed it’s best that they’re sober of just smoked up…

  11. Freedom says:

    YAY! just what we need…more nannies. no way. Last thing I would want is some goon staring at me while I tripped and tried to enjoy myself. It would be like having a cop present while you puffed on your bong. Just not happening.

    So if we were required to have a “nanny” and we didnt, would we be locked up? Thats just as bad a present prohibition. Do as I say not as I do and only how I tell you to do it? Thats NOT freedom. Thats what this whole fight is about, getting”nannys” out of our lives so we can LIVE our lives.

    Like as not, the Nervous Nelly prohibs are going to have to quit trying to strangle grown people with apron strings and just leave off. And as one favorite writer of mine put it long ago, “Freedom is being able to tell some nosy busybody to mind their own business…and they do.” Which would be Purgatory if not Hell for prohibs to endure…

    Thank You Kaptinemo for that small piece of sanity.

  12. DdC says:

    Republic . . .
    it means people can live free,
    talk free, go or come, buy or sell,
    be drunk or sober, however they choose.
    — John Wayne

    Jury Nullification

    The only freedom which counts is the freedom to do what some other people think to be wrong. There is no point in demanding freedom to do that which all will applaud. All the so-called liberties or rights are things which have to be asserted against others who claim that if such things are to be allowed their own rights are infringed or their own liberties threatened. This is always true, even when we speak of
    the freedom to worship, of the right of free speech or association, or of public assembly. If we are to allow freedoms at all there will constantly be complaints that either the liberty itself or the way in which it is exercised is being abused, and, if it is a genuine freedom, these complaints will often be justified. There is no way of having a
    free society in which there is not abuse. Abuse is the very hallmark of liberty.
    — Lord Hailsham,
    former Chief Justice, “The Dilemma of Democracy”

    Anti-Pot Campaign Will Only Increase Teen Drug Use

    Corruptisima republica plurimae leges.
    [The more corrupt a republic, the more laws.]
    — Tacitus, Annals III 27

    States Don’t Need Federal Permission to Legalize Medical Marijuana

    I have never seen a situation so dismal
    that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.
    — Brendan Behan (1923-1964)

    Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp. While GOP and DMC continue to bicker over nonsense. Farmers still can’t grow.

  13. Pete says:

    Steve, I think you misunderstood Mark Haden’s suggestion for a model for legalized psychedelic drugs. It was not that recreational users would have psychotherapists nannying them, but rather that psychotherapists would be one of the first groups allowed to use them in their work (since they have expertise).

    you allow people to apply for a license, and when you are granted a license, you are guaranteeing that you will supervise people for set and setting issues for the entire duration of their trip. […]

    The first people who would be invited to participate would be shamans and psychotherapists who have been involved in doing this for centuries now.

    There are lots of recreational activities where a licensed (or at least trained) expert helps you through it (particularly when you’re a beginner). Canoeing, hang gliding, skiing, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, etc.

    There’s no reason why you and your friends couldn’t get licenses so you could supervise them and vice versa.

    The idea is to make it fully legal, yet provide mechanisms whereby use would be enjoyable, safe, and fully informed.

  14. kaptinemo says:

    One of my all-time favorite authors is Mark Twain, and not for the famous books he penned and which all American schoolchildren are required to read (or used to be required to read, I don’t know about now) but for his books and articles less known, for he was an acerbic social critic, with a withering eye and wielding, as he put it, “A pen warmed up in Hell”

    Twain saw what was coming with regards to the increasing encroachment upon personal liberties and freedoms in the name of ‘saving’ and ‘protecting’ us, and made many efforts to sound the alarm in that regard. One of the most famous examples of this occurred in 1901, when Twain added his tuppence to the legislative deliberations regarding whether osteopathy (modern day chiropractics) should be allowed and licensed in New York.

    To say that many reading here would be in heartfelt agreement with his observations and declarations would be an understatement. For example:

    “Now what I contend is that my body is my own, at least, I have always so regarded it. If I do it harm through my experimenting it is I who suffer, not the state. And if I indulge in dangerous experiments the state don’t die. I attend to that.”

    Twain was not speaking from pure utilitarianism, seeking to persuade by scientific correctness whether an experimental process should be permitted. He was speaking on philosophical grounds, that to deny the possibility of determining utility in the name of ‘protecting’ us may do more harm to society as a whole than just to those directly affected. A philosophical position that many reformers, whether they are aware of that or not, actually share.

  15. DdC says:

    On the opposite extreme side of a Nanny State is the Fatherland.
    Giving “freedom” to corporations to pollute or gouge prices is also a reason behind prohibition. Keeping competition off the market. All government, isn’t bad or good by itself. Just how we use or rather abuse it. Its good to protect the air from dioxin drugs spewed by fossil fools factories. Stop signs help drivers be less hazardous and have a more enjoyable ride. Anytime a victim is produced it should be stopped. Either by the people or with assistance of the government. Smoking pot doesn’t create a victim. Prohibition creates the victims. Hitler’s IGFarben corporatism is exactly what the Ganjawar is. With the aid eliminating accountability by gutting checks and balances and interchanging CEO’s with Science. It successfully keeps out competition for a range of corporations presently making us sick. It also does what even Hitler never thought of, a way to profit on incarceration. As predicted, the bottom line has shifted from removing criminals to filling cages at X$ per head. So removing prohibition has all kinds of opportunities to actually act like Americans, Not Fascists. Thats Social or Nationalist Fascism, not the misnomered Communism that never existed. Nothing communal about China, Russia or Cuba. Dictators are not communal. Just another Fascism. Although I have to wonder if any country has ever had as many gullible sheople willing to be slaves as the TV wingnuts worshipping fake news? Incrimentalism will never end the Ganjawar, only removing Nixon’s lie scheduling Hemp as a #1 narcotic. But I have to say I wouldn’t trade places with draconian states until it is over. I mean we have a frickin delivery service U2b. How cool is that?

    Capitola Cannabis Collective

    “A violently active, intrepid, brutal youth that is what I am after…
    I will have no intellectual training.
    Knowledge is ruin for my young men.”
    ~ Adolf Hitler quoted by John Gunther “The Nation”

    George Washington Grew & Smoked Weed!

    “Rauschgiftbekaempfung” Meant literally
    “The combatting of drugs”
    It was the unholy alliance of Nazi eugenics and american prohibition.”

    NORML Women’s Alliance.

    …somebody has to take governments’ place,
    and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it.”
    – David Rockefeller – Newsweek International, Feb 1 1999.

    This Drug War is PURE Hypocrisy

    “Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth… Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea.”
    ~ Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf”, Vol. 1, Chapter 10

  16. allan420 says:

    re: shrooming in public…

    I know there are plenty here experienced with the fun guys among us. I know many of those have taken shrooms at a festival where there are vendors and music and other entertainment. A repeat – and totally enjoyable – psilocybic experience for me is what I consider the “13th century village view.” It’s a charming and safe presence and just blows my mind. I love them little boogers. And if a psychotherapist or whomever can keep up when I go shrooming in the wild, good luck, I’ll walk their legs off!

    I’m curious about others experiencing that “village view”?

  17. Pete says:

    Allan, I think that the model I’d go for is the “fully-informed” model, which may involve a guide at least to begin with, before signing off for someone to go “village.” ‘Cause while I would have absolutely no concern about you on shrooms, I think we all know some idiot frat-boy types who we’d rather not set loose on the world tripping their first time.

    When I was in college, there was a neighbor who decided that crawling out the 3rd floor window and climbing around the building to freak out someone in another room would be a fun thing to do while on shrooms. I disagreed.

    That doesn’t mean that you need to use a criminal law model to deal with setting up guides for psychedelic experiences — no, you can simply set that up as a social expectation, with the distribution methods enabling and encouraging it.

  18. Bruce says:

    I like the way nature can surprise us. Shrooms while walking the village with tumbleweed milk jugs blowing by and an approaching storm… priceless.
    Then home to more shrooms and a sit next to the Spider plant with grandfather clock ticking… priceless.
    Then a ride in the plane for some touch and goes on the highway…pri—…Oh.

  19. ray says:

    Regulate and tax fairly…and rationally, faith in the people, logic, belief and persuit of ones happiness…accounantability to themselves…People with a capital P making decisions for their own welfare.

  20. allan420 says:

    Pete… I’m with ya on that. As a volunteer RockMedic I’ve taken care of more than one or two TOCs (Trippers Out of Control). I had someone once worried about the helicopters coming (how’s that for a Prohibition induced paranoia?) and she was beginning to freak, until I told her that they were coming but they were little itty-bitty (and my voice rose into a cartoonish pitch) ones and showed her with my fingers how small. She grinned and started laughing and I was her best friend forever and she loved me! Until she got distracted by something bright and colorful of course…

    One of the most common after effects felt by a tripper left for our caretaking is the regret they feel for causing us to care for them, they appreciate us but don’t want to come back. I have had verrrry few return TOCs. They learn. And at an event where there are elder trippers there, a drum circle or a community fire pit (the best because they come, drawn like moths to the light), these people are readily noticed and watched, intervention only happening if loss of control occurs or they ask for help. RockMed, combined with a culturally aware security group, provides a safe environment for folks finding that “village” while high.

    Our model stands in stark contrast to the Spanish Canyon fiasco in Utah. That time the helicopters did come and they brought men in black with guns.

    There is psychedelic trauma that occurs when folks are mishandled by authorities. Our head crisis guy wrote his thesis on it… and yes, experience in psychedelics for crisis work is critical, one must know the territory…

  21. Paul says:

    Getting arrested on psychedelics would be…unpleasant, to say the least. The only thing worse would be dealing with a serious accident while you are 8 miles high.

    Although I think these drugs should be legal, they really ought to be sold behind the pharmacy counter, so the pharmacist can make sure you’re not a kid, or drunk, or obviously deranged before he sells it to you. And it should come with his warning to BE CAREFUL.

    That sort of advice sounds trivial, but it is not. I once had a sleeping pill prescription filled by a pharmacist, and as he handed me the bottle, he told me to take one before bed and no more…and then looked me in the eye and said, “oh, and NO ALCOHOL.”

    It brings home that the drug is dangerous, so be careful.

    Drug dealers can’t exactly be relied on to provide such advice.

  22. Servetus says:

    The best safety net for experiencing the effects of any drug is a truthful education about the drug, one that includes how to use it safely and any material item that makes the experience safer. If it’s unsavory to think of being licensed to do a particular drug, then maybe a nice little framed diploma will do.

    There is a tradeoff in education versus control. If we accept excessive control or regulation in place of education, we surrender our will, and we’re right back where we started.

  23. DavesNotHere says:

    Funny you should say that Pete, I was a frat boy (no offense intended I assume, and I can take it anyway). Frat Boy Chapter President in fact. And an instrumental member of the Intra-Fraternity Council (IFC) at a time when another Fraternity was de-chartered / kicked off campus for alcohol violations surrounding a rape at a pledge event. I helped write their new alcohol policy and self policing program that was the impetus of that event.

    By the time I was Chapter President and helping write the IFC alcohol policy with self “policing and enforcement”, I would have gladly helped anyone out with their first LSD or shroom trip as much as I could base on my previous experiences. Point being, Fraternities are an excellent opportunity to give people the truth and the best avenue to provide the truth in some cases. (Age to purchase alcohol should be lowered to 18, with parental consent allowed for those “underage”, and state monopolies on liquor stores should be eliminated.)

    Truth, science, and ideas aimed at reducing the harm associated with stupid human beings doing stupid things while being stupid on stupid mind altering substances is always good. There is no one way to best reduce harm and government should never pretend they know the best.

    The ideas in the video may be better than what we have, but they are not a government solution that needs to be adopted and everyone forced to follow. Human beings don’t work like that.

    I will say though, that truthful, pertinent information being given at the time of exchange to the consumer should be our goal. Transparency.

    A law that says you need a trip nanny? No.

    Each little community and micro-environment, such as a Fraternity or college, with their own policies or program offerings that evolve and seem to work for them is a much better model. Just because something seems to be a great idea on how to reduce the harm of drugs, doesn’t make it a good government policy. Free needles may be a great idea and something people should make is available, but it doesn’t follow that is the best way and government should do it.

    I applaud the creativity ideas at coming up with ways to reduce the harm to other human beings. Forcing those creative ideas on the rest of us at the end of a government gun with a cage in site, isn’t something I applaud.

  24. DdC says:

    Trip Nanny

    The last thing one needs while on a trip is a cop.

    The Search for an Endangered Mushroom
    That Could Cure Smallpox, TB and Bird Flu

    Dr. Andrew Weil of the University of Arizona College of Medicine states, “There is not a shred of hope from history or from cross-culture studies to suggest that human beings can live without psychoactive substances.” Bees drop to the ground after having nectar from certain orchards. Birds get drunk off berries and then fly into windows. After cats sniff certain plants they swing at imaginary objects. Certain range weeds will make cows shake, twitch, and stumble back for more. Elephants purposely get drunk on fermented fruits…”

    The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus

    scroll to page bottom

    Soma revealed

  25. malcolmkyle says:

    And the last thing the cops need, is a 45 seater bus full of feral young kelts on shrooms and booze out for a fun night on the town. As quick as they could put us in the paddy wagon, we burst back out again. By the time it was all over, there were 3 squad cars on their backs, and only 5 went back on the bus. No wonder the vikings used them to go raiding; you can drink your weight in beer and walk through walls. We definitely didn’t need no friggin’ minder ;>)

  26. Steve Rolles says:

    Do go and read the book before jumping to conclusions about what is beiong advocated. Its 220 pages and a short film cant really cover the detail. Its here, and its free as pdf:

    The psychedelics chapter calls for supervised/licensed use for novices using more potent psychadelics – whilst suggesting fresh mushrooms should be sold under license along the lines of over the counter drugs (ie age and packaging controls).

    Re opiates – the strictest controls are only suggested for injecting use, controls for non injectables and smoked opium are various forms of licensed sales and premises.

    The default is to err on the side of more restrictive controls in the first instance for practical reasons (potential unintended consequences) and political ones. It would be hoped that social controls would emerge that would replace administrative controls and lead to healthier relationships with drugs in the longer term. Always the guide would be to follow the evidence of what is effective on key public health, criminal justice and human rights measures.

    Its an unrelentingly reasonable and pragmatic book. I know, having written it.

  27. Paul says:

    Thanks for the link, Steve. I’ll be sure and check it out.

  28. Things are getting out of control.
    Last thing I would want is some goon staring at me while I tripped and tried to enjoy myself. It would be like having a cop present while you puffed on your bong. Just not happening in my life today. Have to go. Love the blog. Peace out

  29. Steve Rolles says:

    Roger – you need to read the book before jumping to conclusions. that is simply not what is being advocated.

  30. Carol says:

    There seems to be a lack of imagination on the issue of a “minder”. Everybody seems to think it would be like a cop. In a legal world a minder could be a nurse, a chiropractor, perhaps a trained massage therapist: someone with medical training that knows the difference between the high and some medical issues that needs immediate tending to. A minder also protects the person from being hassled by someone who wants to exploit or harm the person who is high and unable to accurately assess a threat and defend themselves.

    Also, the minder could be someone who runs a specialized safe facility for the high. The Mushroom Motel with safe, private rooms that are free from chemical and electrical hazards, where someone monitors your car, and if a natural disaster is taking place, knows how to evacuate you to the basement.

    This is regulation, not prohibition.

  31. Ripmeupacuppa says:

    “The Mushroom Motel” You can check in any time you want but you’ll never ever come down.

  32. DavesNotHere says:

    When the so-called “drug rehab” centers start letting science and the truth guide their revenue/admission policies, perhaps we’ll start listening to you then. But “drug rehab”, government grant, community organizer, profiteers are just modern day snake oil salesman with their bogus marijuana addiction claims and high dollar marijuana “treatments”. Go away.

  33. kaptinemo says:

    Perhap English not good so. Better translator program maybe try.

    But bullsh*t is still bullsh*t, regardless of language.

  34. Chelle says:

    When these particular “outpatient drug rehab”, “drug rehab detox”, and etc. are capable of typing coherent sentences rather than a bunch of keywords for google searches, I might be more interested, too.

    People who already work *with* drug addicts one-on-one might have some input into what kinds of things actually contribute to chemical *dependance* rather than just chemical *use*.

  35. LOU says:


  36. LOU says:

    goverment should not be so greedy law wise they should give more to the needey then them selfs all they do is live of the poor we cart go out and buy steak like them lot can and live rich

  37. my dad is a massage therapist and he can really relieve minor pains and injuries `;-

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